Question #292

Logically, how can my salvation depend on me in any way?

Hi, If there is a way to lose your salvation then logic demands that there is something that the saved one must do or not do to keep themselves saved. If I must keep myself saved then my salvation is only as secure as I am at my very weakest point. Me at my very weakest point is very pitiful indeed if my salvation depends on me in that state. If I thought my salvation was dependent on me at my weakest then I may as well pitch myself into the Lake of Fire now. I have no confidence in either saving myself or keeping myself saved by doing or not doing whatever it is that I must do or not do to keep myself saved. So very sad those who believe in salvation by performance or lack of it. Love you in God our only hope.

The Answer:

If you wish to argue logic that is fine. However, if your position is correct and THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THAT ONE MUST DO TO BE SAVED AND/OR TO REMAIN SAVED, then logically salvation is by grace alone. Faith is something that you must “do.” John 8:24. If salvation is by grace alone then logically there must be universal salvation. If that is not the case then God is a respecter of persons. If God is a respecter of persons then the scripture, which declares that he is not, is not true. Acts 10:34. But of course you don’t believe that verse anyway because it requires that one “work righteousness” in order to be accepted with Him. Any doctrine or argument that makes God a liar cannot be true. What you have proposed falls into that category.

Galatians is as strong as Romans in declaring that one is not saved by works of law, yet both of them are just as strong in declaring that baptism is essential to salvation. Rom. 6:1-7; Gal. 3:26-27. Of course, Peter got it wrong on the day of Pentecost when his hearers cried out asking “What must we do?” According to you, Peter should have said, “You have it all wrong. There is nothing that you can do.” Instead he replied, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38. You should have been there to straighten Peter out. Jude got it wrong, also, because he instructed his readers to “keep yourselves in the love of God.” Jude 21. Jesus got it wrong as well. He (mistakenly, I am sure) said that not everyone who says unto him Lord, Lord will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but he that DOETH the will of my father Matt. 7:21-23. Additionally, he admonished the church in Smyrna to “be faithful unto death” and he would “give [them] a crown of life.” The fact that they had something to do – be faithful – made their salvation no less a gift, a gift that they would not have received had they become unfaithful. No one on this website has ever urged that man saves himself. It would oppose that position because it is both unscriptural and anti-scriptural. But so is the doctrine that man must not “do” anything to be saved and to remain saved.

Of course, the way that you attempt to get around that is with the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, commonly called “once saved, always saved.” I had a discussion with a preacher who espoused that doctrine and I postulated to him a man who, after being truly saved, fell into strong drink, lived a life of insobriety, and died in that condition. I asked him if that man would go to heaven. His response was that God would not let a truly saved man die in that condition. I suggested to him that he should encourage his congregation to become drunk and stay drunk and that, since God would not let a saved person die in that condition, they would live forever. Who can believe that “Jack Daniels” is the fountain of youth!!!

If there is nothing that man must “do,” how do you account for the word “obey” in all its forms in the scripture. Acts 5:32 reads: “32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” Romans 6:16 reads: “16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Heb. 5:9 reads: “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him….” To these you might add such passages as Gal. 3:1; 5:7; and 2 Thess. 3:14. The gospel is preached to bring about “obedience of faith” an expression found in the beginning and the end of the very book upon which most rely to establish that there is nothing a man can do related to his salvation. Rom. 1:5; 16:26.

There are many other sections of this website that address your position. It is amazing that most, if not all, who reject those discussions and the conclusions they reach, always contain conclusions unsupported by scripture and that do not address the scriptures and conclusions contained on this website. If you wish to have a discussion of these issues and that which the scripture teaches related to them, you should be begin by making a reasoned response to the arguments made on this website and the scriptures presented in support of those arguments. That way your conclusions can be addressed more fully. We have certainly done that on this website. Do you have the courage of your convictions to do so? We shall see.

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)